Battletech, Shadowrun maker spins up a dedicated board game division for future projects
The first title will be a personal project from the son of a veteran employee.
Catalyst Game Labs, the publisher behind the Battletech miniature skirmisher and Shadowrun tabletop RPG, has announced the creation of a dedicated board game division. This new wing of the company will oversee current licences and future projects, including a board game designed by one veteran employee’s son.
Battletech and Shadowrun has been Catalyst Game Labs’ bread and butter since its inception in 2007 - the company was explicitly created to print and handle sourcebooks for both series - but it is no stranger to other tabletop games. It published the Dungeons & Dragons tie-in deckbuilder Dragonfire in 2017 and handled a reprinting of mediaeval strategy title The Duke: Lord’s Legacy. It also developed a cooperative deckbuilder set in the Shadowrun universe called Crossfire.
All of those titles, plus everything else not in the core Shadowrun and Battletech franchise, will ostensibly fall under the purview of Mike Richie, now creative director of board games at Catalyst Game Labs. In a press release sent to Dicebreaker, Richie said that this expansion has been culminating for a long while and that the company already has several titles in active development.
The first project to be published under this new banner actually comes from the son of Catalyst managing developer Randall Bills and hits Kickstarter on May 23rd. Overlords: In Training is a competitive card game where minions of the eponymous Overlord compete against each other in battle royale combat to earn his favour. Bills said the world and style are the full creation of his neurodivergent son, who uses artistic output to express himself.
“Kenyon has been crafting a massive, dynamic universe of the strange, the sublime, and the creepy. And bringing that creation to life through his wonderfully unique art. Drawing, drawing, and drawing. Drawing that kept him anchored. Drawing that allowed him to find his way. To connect with his teachers. To survive. To make it to the wonderful, creative eighteen-year-old young man he is today,” Bill wrote in the press release.
“Along the path Kenyon decided he wanted to make a game with his father. To design how it would work. And to set it in his Doodle Realms creation. And to draw all of the characters. To name them; to write their quotes. To literally do almost everything in the game, with my light hand to assist. We’ve been at this for some time, as we’ve striven to pull Kenyon’s creations out of his wonderful mind and set it before you all.”
More information about Overlords: In Training will be available on the Kickstarter campaign page when the project goes live. Catalyst Game Labs did not mention any other upcoming projects at this time, but its latest Battletech release, Mercenaries, garnered an astonishing $7.5 million in funding over the course of a single month.